Supporting education in Brooke
Like my predecessors I am a trustee of several small village-based charities.
Most of these involve the ongoing distribution of benefit to “the poor”, the cost of which is met by income derived from land owned by the trust. Historically, these trusts provided bread or coal, but the modern expression of their gifts is in the form of a small grant of money to those of pensionable age in the parish. The fact that the vicar remains a trustee of these charities is a sign of the importance of the presence of the church in village life.
The Brooke Townlands Charity has particularly supported the mission of the church in the parish. Founded originally in a gift of land in the 1500s, the trust was later re-formed in 1857 to provide a school in the village. Both vicar and church were heavily involved in this project and Christian principles and values lay at its heart. In modern times the school, still in its original building, is in Local Authority care, maintaining its Christian distinctiveness as a VC school. The charity’s funds were invested following the sale of the charity’s land and the income used to support the education of Brooke’s school children. A small grant is made each year to the churchwardens for the maintenance of the church (in accordance with the original scheme) and each year those leaving Brooke Primary School are presented with a gift from the charity; in recent years a reading book and a Bible. The school can apply for grants to support extracurricular activities, while the PCC have been able to obtain grants to support their work with the school children. This has enabled us to develop our link with the Primary School and also to resource the projects we undertake together.
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